Midnight Ten Chapter 15

Chapter 15: The Challenge Level Entrance

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Tang Lin was the first to hear the metal mesh move. He looked up almost instantly and saw Fan Peiyang had returned safe and sound.

He breathed a long sigh of relief, involuntary relaxing. Just as he was about to speak, his legs suddenly chilled.

The wolf shadow dispersed.

The black fog floated toward the other metal mesh—the snake corpse had been cleaned up, bloodstains still lingering on the wall below—drifting out through the mesh holes. Very soon, it disappeared into the darkness of the pipe.

Seeing Fan Peiyang, Torn T-shirt immediately got up to open the metal mesh: “Boss, how come you’re only back now? We thought you ran into Night Roamers.”

“I did encounter them, but I got away safely.” Fan Peiyang jumped down from the pipe. Very naturally he handed the bag to Torn T-shirt.

Torn T-shirt accepted it even more naturally, then stood there a bit confused. Why was he helping this guy with heavy stuff?

“Boss,” Zheng Luozhu stood up and first thing gave a status report, “We ran into a Night Roamer too.”

Fan Peiyang looked towards Tang Lin sitting on the bed, brows slightly knitted: “The one that just intimately pressed against you earlier?”

Tang Lin blinked once: “The one you scared away as soon as you returned.”

Fan Peiyang’s brows relaxed into faint puzzlement: “You seem…in pretty good spirits.”

Tang Lin didn’t hurry to answer, instead patting the bedside: “Come here.”

Fan Peiyang obligingly went over and sat down.

Tang Lin told him, “Just a moment ago, I used a tool for the first time, and it was a special one. I can now understand what you meant by the feeling of controlling stationary…”

Zheng Luozhu settled back into his chair, satisfied. Clearly boss no longer needed his status report.

Torn T-shirt sat back on his bedroll holding the bag, looking between the two conversing. Hesitating whether to protest Tang Lin talking more in one minute now than the whole night before. Or remind Fan Peiyang that earlier, Tang Lin had the Night Roamer lie at his feet the same way—patting the spot and saying “Come here.”

For a long time after, only Tang Lin and Fan Peiyang’s chatting sounded in the Underground Well.

A Tang Lin that was no longer aloof, even somewhat lively, and a Fan Peiyang patiently listening, occasionally giving feedback.

The murky light above them like a canopy separating them from the outside world. The damp and gloom of the Underground Well entirely dispelled by this light.

Zheng Luozhu quietly gazed at the graffiti wall, seeming to be pondering something.

Chubby adn Old man’s shirt stealthily sidled up to Torn T-shirt, eyeing the bag as they asked: “Boss, what’s in here?”

Torn T-shirt was only paying attention to the two over there talking. With the brothers asking, he also got curious and simply opened the bag to take a look.

Just as he did, he heard Fan Peiyang say to Tang Lin over there: “I bought some things for you.”

The three got even more curious and immediately peered into the bag—

Six pairs of sunglasses.

Three handheld high-frequency mini fans.

Two multi-function blades.

Two multi-function knives.

A carton of milk.

Torn T-shirt, Chubby, Old man’s shirt:“……”

The purchases seemed a bit too random!




Successive notification sounds rang out on Tang Lin’s arm.

<[Defense] I See Through You> x4

<[Defense] Moments of Joy Levitation Technique> x1

<[Defense] Golden Shield> x2

<[Defense] Into the Mist> x1

<[Heal] Pain Relief and Pain Stopping> x1

Tang Lin was surprised: “All for me?”

He thought that Fan Peiyang’s so-called gift meant that he would receive a few of the purchased stationery items. However, the reality was quite different – the receiving process seemed never-ending.

“I didn’t give you all of them,” Fan Peiyang kept three <[Defense] I See Through You> for himself and three for Zheng Luozhu. As for <[Unique] I am VIP>, its effect was yet to be verified.

Tang Lin lowered his head to look at his suddenly abundant Stationery Box. Aside from “Pain Relief and Pain Stopping”, all the others were defensive tools. He fell silent for a while before saying: “Alright, I’ll protect you guys during the challenge level.”

Fan Peiyang looked at the box with him for a bit, then reached out pointing at “Golden Shield” and “Into the Mist”: “Give those two back to me.”

When it came to protecting people, President Fan still preferred to do it himself.

“Boss…” Torn T-shirt didn’t really want to disrupt the harmonious atmosphere between those two, but he was too curious. “Are the things you bought stationery?”

Fan Peiyang’s look seemed to ask “Is there a problem?”

Torn T-shirt held up a mini fan bewilderedly: “Then what are these…”

Fan Peiyang: “Oh, they’re gifts.”

Torn T-shirt: “……”

Although sunglasses and mini fans were junk, the bread rolls and milk were genuinely high-end Underground City goods. Just how much money did he spend for the seller to gift out food?

“Right,” Fan Peiyang seemed to recall something. “Name a price for that unique stationery.”

Torn T-shirt was speechless. Was he buying stationery out of habit, or did he really have too much money to spend? Objectively speaking, with the circumstances earlier, Tang Lin using <[Unique] Night Beast Tamer> was equivalent to risking himself to save all of them. A unique stationery was indeed priceless, but how could he bear to…

Fan Peiyang: “Hm?”

Torn T-shirt: “Just give me the bread and milk.”

Only when about to sleep did Fan Peiyang remember to mention the time flow.

“One day here is half a day outside?” Tang Lin thought for a bit. “That’s fine then.”

What he feared most was it being like ancient myths—one day here being a hundred years outside.

But speaking of time reminded him: “What about the company?”

Fan Peiyang calmly said: “Don’t worry, I’m often absent for challenges. Dan Yunsong knows what to do.”

Tang Lin marveled: “Assistant Dan really goes all out for you.”

Fan Peiyang glanced at him: “For us.”

Tang Lin blanked for a moment, avoiding Fan Peiyang’s eyes as he switched topics. He talked about his suspicions—Torn T-shirt’s group had lived in the well safely for so long, yet as soon as they arrived, snakes and Night Roamer swarmed them.

“Do you have any suspects?” Fan Peiyang asked.

Tang Lin lazily propped up his head, lightly saying: “From yesterday until now, we’ve only met a few people in total.”

Fan Peiyang raised his eyes. The fully paved stones reflected the darkness in his eyes: “Either it’s Shark or Lu Jue.”

It doesn’t really matter who they are; they don’t have the strength to confront an organization yet. What matters most right now is clearing the challenge levels. Knowing that someone is plotting against them, they need to stay alert and focused.

“But if you look at it from a different perspective,” Tang Lin smirked slightly, “their actions show that they’re wary of our strength.”

Getting up, Fan Peiyang tossed his coat hanging by the bedside to Tang Lin. “You’ve only successfully used one stationery. Don’t get too proud.”

Tang Lin used the coat as a makeshift blanket, covering himself contentedly. “Good night, President Fan.”

The next morning, as Torn T-shirt’s team were still munching on small bread loaves, Zheng Luozhu came over and asked for permission from Fan Peiyang to go out. He mentioned wanting to visit Liang Xin Shop.

Fan Peiyang promptly shared Liangxin’s location with him before asking, “Are you looking to buy stationery?”

“Yes,” Zheng Luozhu replied smoothly. “I nearly got killed by a Night Roamer. Who knows how many dangers are still inside the challenge levels? My Iron Plate is just not reliable.”

Fan Peiyang reminded him, “I’ve already purchased all the stationery from him.”

Zheng Luozhu paused for a moment, then smiled brilliantly. “Well then, I’ll ask about the information.”

Fan Peiyang looked at him thoughtfully.

Zheng Luozhu rubbed his shaved head and presented it openly for the boss to see.

“Go ahead,” said Fan Peiyang without many words, “and stay safe.”

Zheng Luozhu immediately stood at attention and replied, “Thank you, boss.”

The trio, munching on small bread loaves, observed the entire process with suspicion but didn’t dare to inquire further, as it was an internal matter.

Zheng Luozhu moved swiftly, disappearing into the tunnel in no time. His figure merged into the darkness.

It was already afternoon, and Zheng Luozhu still hadn’t returned. Fan Peiyang had confidence in Zheng Luozhu’s adaptability, so he wasn’t too worried.

However, when he raised his head, he noticed Tang Lin sitting in a chair, casually observing him.

But Tang Lin’s chair was quite the opposite of his demeanor; his body leaned backward, making the front of the chair rise, wobbling in a delicate balance.

Without a second thought, Fan Peiyang walked over and was about to press it down, but Tang Lin did it himself and asked while looking up, “Why did Zhuzi continue to challenge the challenge levels?”

Fan Peiyang said straightforwardly, “He said he wants to continue following me as his boss.”

Tang Lin carefully recalled Fan Peiyang’s demeanor back in the company, assuming his memory wasn’t wrong. Walking with an aura of low pressure, intimidating with his gaze, and always speaking with a frosty tone…

Finally, he sighed and said, “That’s the least sincere lie I’ve ever heard.”

At the same time, in the attic of Liang Xin Shop.


Zheng Luozhu sat where Fan Peiyang had been not long ago, his expression calm, no longer carefree.

“The most well-informed people in the Underground City are all here,” Liang Xin handed a note with several names and addresses to Zheng Luozhu, “If they don’t know, there’s nothing more I can do.”

Zheng Luozhu took the note and gratefully said, “Thank you.”

Liang Xin shook his head, “Don’t say that, I haven’t been much help.”

“Well,” Zheng Luozhu raised the note, “You’ve already helped me a lot.” He carefully stowed away the note and, taking out his bank card, asked, “How much do I owe you?”

Liang Xin smiled wryly, “I haven’t sold anything, so there’s no charge.”

Zheng Luozhu stared at him intently.

Liang Xin got up, crossed the table, and patted his shoulder, a gesture that seemed like a blessing and a sigh, “I hope you receive good news.”

That day Zheng Luozhu returned in the evening, neither Fan Peiyang nor Tang Lin asked too many questions.

For the next five days, the three of them mostly practiced controlling the stationery in the Underground Well. Fan Peiyang and Zheng Luozhu practiced Stationery Tree, while Tang Lin, who couldn’t use the stationeries that Fan Peiyang had worked so hard to buy, spent most of his time observing and learning.

During this time, Fan Peiyang only went out once, taking Torn T-shirt and the others to buy food and check the situation in the Underground City.

As the time for the challenge approached, the atmosphere in the Underground City had clearly changed. The most obvious sign was the increased activity of various factions on the streets. While they still exchanged pleasantries as before, there was an undercurrent of tension among them.

On the day of the challenge, at 7:00 in the morning, Tang Lin, Fan Peiyang, and Zheng Luozhu were ready and lightly equipped. Due to the new notification they received about not being allowed to bring backpacks or travel bags for the challenge level, the three of them only carried a few small items with them, leaving the rest with Torn T-shirt.

“It was the best decision I ever made to rob you guys,” Torn T-shirt joked while looking at the pile of food in the corner, then at the three of them about to leave. Even though he was making a joke, his throat felt sore, “Be extremely careful, and if things get too tough, just retreat.”

Fan Peiyang and Tang Lin nodded. Zheng Luozhu responded briefly with a simple “Hmm.”

Torn T-shirt, Chubby, and Old man’s shirt watched as the three of them left, it took them a long time before they snapped out of their daze. When things got tough, not everyone could retreat. But these words could persuade a coward, yet they couldn’t deter the resolute ones. They had a gleam in their eyes, a vision of what lay ahead, and that was the most valuable thing in this underground city.


Tang Lin couldn’t help but think about the information Torn T-shirt had provided as they walked:

[The challenge level entrance will open at 12 AM with the time reference being the clock next to the subway entrance. However, there will be many people holding spots there during the day, so you must go early…]

[Why do they need to hold spots? Didn’t I say that the challenge entrance is only accessible to a limited number of people, with a quota of 200? It’s first-come, first-served, and once the quota is reached, the entrance will automatically close…]

[The number of people who can successfully pass the challenge is also limited, with only 20 spots available for the 200 who enter, so it’s a race against time…]

[Do you remember what I told you? The most dangerous aspect of the challenge isn’t the actual tasks, but the other challengers… With 200 people competing for 20 spots, not everyone wants to compete fairly, and some may resort to anything…]

[The content of the challenges isn’t that complex, as you’ll be navigating through subway carriages, but the specific methods and settings change each time…]

Unbeknownst to them, the three had already arrived at the square where the subway entrance was located. Tang Lin had anticipated the challenging situation here, but upon seeing it for real, he couldn’t help but feel optimistic.

The entire square was nearly filled to capacity with challengers. Small groups of three to five were scattered around the outskirts of the square, while larger groups moved like a tidal wave, occupying the entire square. Around the subway entrance, it was heavily guarded, with at least five or six factions present. They had encircled the area inside and out, making it nearly impossible to get through. It was like a fortress.

The number “1/10” still hung conspicuously above the subway entrance, but even more conspicuous was the “0/200” displayed above it. There were 16 hours left until the challenge began.

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